Monday, December 29, 2014

Year Over, Years Older

This is my last post of 2014. Where did the time go? I'm still on vacation as I compose this post and my to-do list is a kilometer long. However, I made sure that on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, I relaxed and enjoyed the holiday with my family. One of my favourite presents was from my considerate husband, who ordered me a bound and printed copy of the first two years of my blog.

Thank goodness for iPhones and taking selfies!
Even though I have a pile of novels to read before January, I sat and read through the entire book, which contains my ruminations from 2009-2011. It was really neat to see how I've changed and how I've stayed the same. The biggest alterations?

My opinions about online privacy

In the past, I never used to mention people by name on the blog. I avoided using photos. I employed a pseudonym while on Twitter. Thanks to influences like Lisa Dempster and Gwyneth Jones, I started to be less afraid and more pro-active about controlling my positive digital footprint. I believe my thoughts are still evolving, as recent talks with Andrew Campbell and Peter Skillen have urged me to consider the online privacy of others as well and the digital tools I use.

My views on how blogs and Twitter work

My posts chronicle my relationship with Twitter, which mirrors many people's experiences. Beginning with "I'll just get an account to see things; I won't post" in 2009 to over 5000 tweets five years later, Twitter has become more important to me professionally and personally than I originally thought. I also used to fill my blog with "freebies", links to lesson plans and book reviews I wrote. Now, those items are still available on but my blog is more about reflecting on my teaching practices.

My pop culture and book obsessions

Boy, I used to write about Twilight a LOT back then! Thanks to the series, I have a group of wonderful adult friends from all over North America and we still keep in touch via Facebook, but I don't gush over the books I'm reading anymore.

My other observation is that I feel a lot older. It's not just the hair. (I've decided to stop colouring my hair, partly because I couldn't remember what the original hue was. Turns out it's salt and pepper, with emphasis on the salt.) I'm tired. In the past, I was involved in a lot of things, and I still am, but staying on top of everything isn't as easy as it once seemed to be. Maybe it's just my faulty memory, and the truth could be that I struggled with keeping things tidy, deadlines and completing tasks just as much back then. Still, in addition to my usual duties with school and the magazine, I'll be taking an Additional Qualification course starting in January (on Mentoring - my first official-like-on-OCT-records course since I completed my MEd in 2010, which will be exciting), running my church's Marriage Preparation program, working on the TLLP grant with the awesome Liam O'Donnell and Denise Colby, and getting closer to finishing that self-initiated research project on readers' choice programs (that I wrote about way back in the early days of my blog). I'll pace myself, monitor my energy levels, sleep when I need it, and chunk work so I can complete jobs and feel like I've accomplished something.  I may need to operate at a different speed, but if I approach 2015 with an "aging like fine wine" view instead of an "aging like an overripe banana" view, I'll be fine. Make 2015 bring you health, wealth, happiness, and all that you need.

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